Crackdown on boating under the influence - - Texoma news, weather and sports

Crackdown on boating under the influence

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Texas Game Warden Daron Blackerby talks with the operator of a personal watercraft on Lake Texoma. (KTEN) Texas Game Warden Daron Blackerby talks with the operator of a personal watercraft on Lake Texoma. (KTEN)

LAKE TEXOMA -- Over the weekend, Texas game wardens made several arrests as they participated in a nationwide effort to stop boat drivers from drinking: Operation Dry Water.

"The biggest thing we want to look for is not having intoxicated boaters," said Texas Game Warden Daron Blackerby. "We want you to have fun; you can have alcohol on the boat. We just don't want the driver to be intoxicated and possibly hurting themselves or somebody else."

But while the heightened enforcement campaign officially ended on Sunday, game wardens say their efforts will continue in the days ahead as the Independence Day holiday fills Lake Texoma with boaters.

Blackerby explained what happens if you are pulled over on the lake.

"We take them back to shore, we go through a series of tests to determine if they are intoxicated or not," he said.

Nick Sied of Pottsboro was operating a personal watercraft when he was stopped by game wardens on Monday. He said he apprediates efforts to keep the lake safe, and hopes everyone will heed his advice.

"Always make sure that you always wear a life jacket, and make sure that you have all the proper personal protective equipment and plenty of gasoline," Sied said. "And don't drink and all that stuff."

Blackerby said just because you're driving a boat instead of a car, impaired boating is nothing to take lightly.

"The consequences of boating while intoxicated are the same as driving while intoxicated: It's a Class B misdemeanor with a fine and up to 188 days in jail," the game warden said.

Officials say many boaters select a designated driver who doesn't drink before heading out on the water. As long as the driver isn't intoxicated you're good to go. 

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